Race Weekend Central

Friday Faceoff: Can Anything Be Done to Enhance Competitors’ Mental Health?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Ty Dillon’s recent podcast is another example of the mental toll racing can take. Is there anything NASCAR or teams can do to alleviate it, or is the intense stress an inevitability? Mark Kristl: Professional athletes always face pressure. If they do not perform well enough, they become unemployed. It is partly why athletes retire …

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Friday Faceoff: Is William Byron a Championship Contender?

William Byron celebrates in victory lane at Homestead 2021 cup Photo Sean Gardner Getty Images

(Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Buy or sell: William Byron as a Cup Series Championship 4 contender. Luken Glover: At this moment I am buying it. One of the biggest underlying stories of the preseason was the reunion of William Byron and crew chief Rudy Fugle. Why is that pairing so special? Well, just five years ago, the pair won …

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Friday Faceoff: How Many Road Courses Is Too Many?

Chase Elliott leads the pack at 2021 Daytona road course Photo NKP

(photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Does the NASCAR Cup Series schedule feature too many road courses? What is the ideal number? Luken Glover: Yes. Road courses can present great racing, but there are a lot of times when they are uneventful races too. Sometimes they can be wreckfests, like we saw in all three series in some capacity at the …

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Friday Faceoff: Does Michael McDowell’s Win Turn Up Heat For Mid-Pack Teams?

Michael McDowell Love’s at Cup Daytona I 2021 Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Should the Daytona 500 and this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the road course have been held with fewer days in between? Luken Glover: I can understand the reasoning behind it, but no. In a world where television ratings are crucial, a midweek race would not be the way to go. We saw a …

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Friday Faceoff: Should Any Driver Be Locked Into the Daytona 500?

Joe Gibs Racing teammates Bell Kyle Busch Truex Hamlin at Daytona Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Who is more likely to end their Daytona 500 drought first: Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski? Luken Glover: This is a tough one because neither driver has really established themselves as a favorite at the end. Trouble seems to find both of these champions at the worst times. However, I have to go with Kyle …

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Friday Faceoff: Are Jimmie Johnson/Chad Knaus the Best Driver/Crew Chief Pairing Ever?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is Phoenix Raceway the right track again for the NASCAR finales next year? Luken Glover: While the spring NASCAR Cup Series race was good, the championship event wasn’t quite as exciting. There were some good battles among the championship drivers, but behind them we didn’t see a lot of action. It could be that non-playoff …

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Friday Faceoff: Who Are the Championship Favorites?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Looking back at the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Cup Series, would you have officiated anything that happened there any differently? Or did the race play out as it should have? Luken Glover: Chase Elliott asked the question, “What more could you ask for?” in his post-race interview. He was exactly right. That race …

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Friday Faceoff: Will Kyle Larson or Bubba Wallace Visit Victory Lane First?

(Photo: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)

The fall winner NASCAR Cup Series winner at Martinsville Speedway has clinched a Championship 4 spot five years in a row. Will someone make it six? Who? Luken Glover: Yes — Chase Elliott. If you look at the drivers who haven’t won at Martinsville that are due for a win, Elliott has a strong argument. …

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Friday Faceoff: Is Kyle Busch’s 2020 the Worst Ever for a Defending Champ?

(photo: nkp)

Was Kyle Busch’s performance in 2020 the worst season ever by a defending NASCAR Cup Series champion? Luken Glover: It’s definitely in the top 3. The only factors keeping it from No. 1 are that there is no practice since the restart and that he has been running solid when chaos strikes. The two seasons …

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Friday Faceoff: Where Will Ty Dillon Drive in 2021?

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Is it better for the sport if the playoff drivers win the playoff races? Luken Glover: Yes and no. I look at someone like Jimmie Johnson, who would set the racing world on fire if he were to win one of the last NASCAR Cup Series five races. However, playoff drivers winning playoff races have …

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